Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Three weeks ago, I was scratching my head over why Sylvie had not yet launched into reading. She has spent over a year teetering on the cusp, and if you asked me, I would have even said she WAS reading. But still, she had not begun reading box labels, street signs, or anything, really, that I had not put into her hands and said, "Read!"

Three weeks ago, I was thinking about my sister who kind of wonders if she herself might have some sort of learning/reading disability. I was wondering if Sylvie might have similar issues. I was reminding myself that I actually logically believe that anything before nine is completely normal for learning to read, and that my personal freak out point is 13. I was remembering that Ezra was just a little more than 8 when he started reading, Phaedra was pretty close to 7.5, and Sylvie is only now 7.75 years old.

Three weeks ago, Sylvie was definitely better able to read than a year ago. She could labor her way through a page of Peter and Polly, but she was ready for me to take over. She could read a chapter from the Frances books as long as I was willing to help on words she might get stuck on; for example, three pages into the story, she might suddenly forget what AND spells.

Last week, Jason and I were cooking dinner, and I heard Sylvie giggling in the living room. I glanced up to see her reading Ivy and Bean, a book she had declared far too difficult three days before. Now, she was CHOOSING to read it, and following the story well enough to giggle over it. Today, she was reading a book on puppy care and giving me a thorough report on all the things we do wrong with our dogs. In fact, she sat beside me while I sewed so she could more easily read the pertinent paragraphs aloud. She now reads street signs and she reads over my shoulder. She reads the spines of the books while we sit at the table and she reads warning labels.

Now, I am once again amazed at how reading comes. She is the first one I have tried more actively to teach to read. And I am once again convinced that reading is something we make room for, maybe facilitate. I'm pretty sure we do not get to take credit for "teaching" it, any more than I take credit for teaching these three to talk.

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